Episode 621 – EV Infrastructure Concerns, Chrysler Partners with Magneti Marelli, VW Sprinter

April 14th, 2011 at 11:45am

Runtime 5:27

Experts are saying the adoption of EVs may be derailed by the high cost of building the infrastructure to support them.  Chrysler announced an agreement with parts supplier Magneti Marelli and Shell Lubricants that will allow its dealers to service competitors’ vehicles.  Volkswagen is introducing a new commercial van for the UK market.  All that and more, plus guest host Christie Schweinsberg fills us in on the 2011 Ward’s Auto Interiors Conference.


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It’s Thursday, April 14, 2011.  The weekend is almost here!  I’m Christie Schweinsberg from WardsAuto.com bringing you the latest installment of Autoline Daily, episode number 621.  Here’s what’s happening in the world of cars.

EV STICKER SHOCK (subscription required)
President Obama wants one million electric vehicles on the road in the U.S. by 2015, but experts are saying widespread adoption of EVs may be derailed by the high cost of building an infrastructure to support them. According to Ward’s, a professor from the University of Colorado-Boulder says in order to retrofit a parking garage with 240 volt chargers it would cost over $12,000 per connection. And to install 480 volt chargers, the cost would be $106,000 per unit. A Department of Energy study says a fast-charging infrastructure is essential for EVs to catch on but according to GM it may not be necessary to invest in public stations (subscription required). Larry Nitz, GM’s executive director of hybrid and electric powertrains believes people will charge their EVs at home or at work instead of at public places. He says public stations will only be used occasionally and that it would be better to install charging stations at workplaces.

Chrysler announced an agreement with parts supplier Magneti Marelli and Shell Lubricants that will allow its dealers to fully service its competitors. Magneti Marelli, which is a subsidiary of Fiat, will provide 3,000 of its parts to Chrysler and Mopar. This will give dealers the ability to repair and service about 85 percent of the cars on the road in the U.S. The deal with Shell Lubricants supplies the Mopar oil program with premium Mopar and Pennzoil motor oils for Chrysler vehicles and competitive makes. Mopar president Pietro Gorlier was a guest on Autoline Detroit a few weeks back and said he would like to see dealers to regain customer service work.

Volkswagen just introduced a new commercial van, called the Crafter, for the UK market. Autoblog reports that it was co-developed with Mercedes-Benz and is based on the Sprinter. However, the driveline and design are VW’s. It’s equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel that is expected to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by 33 percent. Prices will be announced before the Crafter goes on sale later in the year.

The Nissan GT-R is known for its missile-like acceleration and supercar handling.  Would you ever think a full-size SUV could show its taillights to this monster?  Well, the folks at Hennessey Performance have developed a suite of add-ons that can do just that.  The company’s HPE1000 twin-turbo kit gives the Cadillac Escalade – or similar GM full-size SUV – the power to outrun and outgun the GT-R.   3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .  blast off!  Look at that thing go!  Hennessey claims its setup delivers more than 1,000 horsepower with nearly as much torque.  60 miles an hour from a standstill is available in just 3.3 seconds!  No details about pricing are listed on the company’s website but you can bet it costs a fortune.

As we reported earlier in the week, Chrysler is putting its Pentastar V-6 in the Wrangler and Cadillac is upgrading the SRX’s powertrain, and now it’s Chevy’s turn.  The V-6 Camaro is getting a nice performance boost for 2012.  The 3.6-liter engine gains 11 horsepower for the model year, delivering an SAE-certified total of 323.  It gets new cylinder heads, bigger intake valves and a host of other changes that boost performance and cut weight.  In fact, it’s nearly 21 pounds lighter.  Further sweetening the deal, GM estimates the car will deliver 30 miles per gallon on the highway, nearly matching the six-cylinder Mustang’s best score of 31 MPG.

The BBC reports a group of men traveling in two cars were arrested in the UK when lambs – yes, lambs – were found in their vehicles.  Police discovered a total of 16 baby sheep riding in the back seats, on the floorboards and in the trunks.  The six men are currently in custody on charges of theft.  Officers are asking local farmers to check their flocks for missing animals.  Remember kids, stealing is baaaaad.

Coming up next, an important message about the Ward’s Interiors Conference.

Before we wrap up this edition of Daily, I wanted to take a minute to remind everyone about our upcoming 2011 Wards Auto Interiors Conference.

It’s scheduled for Tuesday, May 17 at the Henry Hotel — formerly the Ritz-Carlton — in Dearborn, Michigan.

The two keynotes for the conference will be Ralph Gilles from Chrysler, who just happens to be John’s guest on this week’s edition of Autoline, as well as Robert Gelardi, Mustang’s lead designer.

This is really a great opportunity to network with both automotive decision makers and some of the top designers in the industry, as well as have a chance to see some of their award-winning interiors up close.

Again, that’s May 17th — a little over a month away. Tickets went fast last year so I wouldn’t wait too long. For any information on the conference, schedules and even registration itself — you’ll find it all at AutoInteriors.com. See you there!

And that’s a wrap for today’s show.  Again, I’m Christie Schweinsberg from WardsAuto.com.  Thanks for tuning in.  I’ll see you next time.

Thanks to our Partners for embedding Autoline Daily on their websites: Autoblog and WardsAuto.com

58 Comments to “Episode 621 – EV Infrastructure Concerns, Chrysler Partners with Magneti Marelli, VW Sprinter”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Totally agree with GM’s opinion on charging stations. This will be another huge boondoggle for government spending that will have limited benefits.

    Should there be recharging stations out there for people to use? Sure! And I bet the free market will provide them when the demand is there.

    This is NOT a chicken vs egg thing. The EVs are already here, albeit in limited numbers. As more Leaf/Volt type vehicles enter the fleet there will be some demand increase for a proper number of public access recharge points, and I bet you electric companies and other private concerns will quickly step up to fill the void.

    Spending 12-100+K of public money to refit a single recharge port is just insanity run amuck!

  2. tj Martin Says:

    Hmmnn …….. Son of a Gun . The price tag for switching to an E/V standard being too high !

    Who’d of thought ?

    Well……… Anyone with a modicum of common sense and both feet firmly planted in REALITY .

    Guess that eliminates 90% of all Politicians , Automakers etc.

  3. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From my perspective, the places that need EV charging hookups are condo complexes. When I’m in Florida 7 months of the year, I could do 90%
    of my driving with a car having a range of 30-40 miles, but there is no place to plug it in.

    ….not that I want a plug-in car anyway.

  4. tj Martin Says:

    So here’s a little Gentleman’s wager ( so no real money is involved ) I’d like to propose ;

    Obviously Gas Prices are soaring . With now even LPG being placed on the table to curb our need for Foreign Oil .

    So here’s the bet . To make it interesting , lets call it $10K.

    I’ll wager that the very INSTANT the American Consumer begins to consume a substantial amount less Fuel : And serious movement is put forth ( infrastructure etc ) to lessen or dependence on Foreign Oil ( LPG , Propane what ever ) and the buying trend for New Cars goes back to High MPG cars ..

    At that very instant OPEC will drastically lower their prices . Perhaps lower than seen in a decade .


    Why do I say that ? Because its been an ongoing cycle since the 70′s with each and every episode ending the same way . OPEC lowers Oil Prices . All Americans forget about the high prices that were . We buy bigger cars again and use more fuel . And we’re back to square one .

    Also , here’s another factor . As Addicted as we are to Foreign Oil , those Foreign Oil Producers are 100 times more addicted to OUR MONEY .

    Any takers ?

    I doubt it . Most everyone here knows this as well as I do . Smart bunch this crew !!!

  5. Dale Leonard,Lakewood,Oh Says:

    Christie,Try to imagine the camera is not there and you’ll get over your camera shyness instantly!! Also,try a little excitement in your delivery. The monotone almost put me to sleep.

  6. Steve Says:

    Well the cost of changing to electric is only part of the issue. The cost to change to ANYTHING ELSE be it hydrogen (my personal fave if we must change), electric, CNG, whatever, is not going to be cheap nor as effective. I don’t think any of the alternatives thus far proposed have the energy density of gasoline. Why hasn’t anybody of consequence really looked into abiotic oil to determine if that is the way oil is really created, and the things that portends? Including do we really need to change from oil because the peak oil theory is a bunch of Barbara Streisand? I don’t know if it is or isn’t more correct than oil comes from squashed dinosaurs and fish, but that theory explains a lot of things better than that. And that’s not to say we don’t need to change. But I am saying we need to understand where we are, and not be panicked into a hasty ill advised change that will be worse than what we have now. Theres more to petroleum than just gas and oil.

  7. shan Says:

    I’m all for being “green”, but the electrification of automobiles, is a freaking dead end. It has too many limitation that will never be conquered. We would have been better off utilizing our plentiful natural gas as a fuel for retrofitted vehicles. Then made the transition to hydrogen technology. Seems we are now in the stage in tweaking the ICE and adding EV’s to the market. The only other viable alternative is developing only a new fuel, like that from algae or bacteria enhanced algae.

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    So far I have not seen the freaking out over the increasing price of gas that I saw 2 yrs ago, perhaps people have realized this is the way of the future or whatever, but I have not seen the lower traffic volume, car-pooling, folks getting out of the cars instead of using drive-thru etc that was so noticeable when gas last hit $4. TJ the problem with your theory is that even if OUR consumption goes down, the Chinese and Indian will continue to need more oil and thus keep the prices high.

  9. ckernzie Says:

    Would it surprise you to know that EVERY apartment I’ve ever lived in (there have been too many to count) has come with plug-in parking? Plug in parking for me is available at my work, my bank, the supermarket etc etc. Virtually every motel, hotel in my area (there are many as I live in a tourist town) has plug-in parking. As a matter of course, outdoor parking plug-ins (albeit 110V) have been designed into most buildings here for probably a 1/2 century.
    So do I live in some utopian EV universe?…possibly. I live in Western Canada, producers of excess power, existing plug-in infrastructure and possibly the last place EV’s will be rolled out by the manufacturers. The first place is of course California which has an already overtaxed power grid and nowhere to plug in. Crazy world eh?

  10. dcars Says:

    Gas usage in the US has dropped for the last 5 years and the price of oil per barrel has fluctuated wildly. Their is no single commodity solution. I think we are going to see multiple solutions like cng, electricity, ethanol and hydrogen. the good side is hopefully will learn not to be dependent on a single fuel source again and not be at the mercy of tyrants.

  11. Paul Knight Says:

    About the whole electric car thing being green and 0 emissions is a load, its just shifting the polution to another source. Most of our power comes from COAL, NUCELAR or NATURAL GAS facilities. How are you going to pay for the power for your electric car when the price is skyrocketing for your home? We already have power problems and thats why they started building the natural gas power stations (there goes your heating costs). And its just going to get worse with the Japan nuclear problems and the want to close coal generating stations.
    Unless you get your power from a 0 emissions source (solar, hydroelectric or wind)you are just fooling yourself about being green.
    To me if more hydroelectric stations were built or we started burning our own methane (100% renewable) from our sewage plants, landfills, farms and zoos (as some places do) we may have something.
    Untill we get to the point where the source is 0 emmisions, were just passing the buck and not solving anything.

  12. HtG Says:

    Skinflints and fellow B&Ters. Here’s a link to a promotional code for the NY Autoshow. If you order online, enter the code.


    ps. On EVs, if this country were serious about foreign oil, we’d make diesel emissions more manageable. But if I write any more about our seriousness, I’ll need another pill.

  13. Paul Knight Says:

    Hey ckernzie….think the 110V plugs may be for your engine block heater for in the winter when it goes below -40C. You did say you are in Western Canada right..Alberta..Saskatchawan or Manitoba mabe. I’m from Ontario and I’ve heard of these plugs ….but only for keeping your engine coolant from freezing and cracking your engine block…not for charging an electric car.

  14. HtG Says:

    On oil.

    You want to save gas and car costs? Rent a Zipcar if you can. I read that an advantage of hourly rental is that people aggregate their little trips together, rather than going out for this little thingie, then that one. In DC they are convenient. You may also want to go short the stock.

    Saudi is the 51st state. We will protect the free flow of oil all over the world. Just relax about it.

    Where’s my pill?

  15. bob Says:

    TJ Martin: You would benefit from posting LESS and learning MORE.

    The other time, you blurted the amazingly clueless statrment that…. 65% (SIC!) of all US Electricity is produced from OIL (!!!!). In fact more than 50% is from COAL, 20% each (approx) from nat gas and Nukes, and less than 10% (more like 3-7%!!!) from Oil!

    TODAY, you even are willing to waste your modest fortune by betting that OPEC will (SIC!) “raise prices”. Your Energy Illiteracy is ASTOUNDING. OPEC cannot raise prices, silly! It can only fool around with its PRODUCTION. If it CUTS production, it may HOPE prices will rise, but of course this DEPENDS on the DEMAND, if it drops even more, prices will PLUMMET!

    Of course, I don’t expect to see this any time soon, not when China keeps growing like Gangbusters.

  16. bob Says:

    I have not posted here for 15 days, so be4ar with me.

    I think my interests are quite different than most who post here. I could care less about the silly tin can F1 races. Instead, I really care about the auto INDUSTRY, its sales, incventories and reviews of models that I actually would care to consider, not NASCAR or F1 cars.

    In that spirit, when I extolled the Cruze and the Equinox, I was referring mostly to their sales success, and to their MPG, but not to how they are inside or how they drive, as I have not bothered to test drive any of them, and I am NOT in the market for such a vehicle.

    Now it turns out that Car and Driver, in a comparison test, while it acknowledges that the Cruze is far superior to the god-awful Colabt it replaces, still is poor in handling (sounds like it handles like a cheap buick). Too bad, since it looks good and has a good interior.

  17. HtG Says:

    F1 is relevant to real cars because of its marketing impact and tech development. Carmakers, tire makers, engine makers spend bucks to get their brand associated with F1 because it is perceived as the pinnacle racing format, especially in emerging Asia. Today’s tech is an outgrowth of past F1 competition. For example, Honda engines are low resistence today because of the work done by engineers in the 80′s. Those engineers later went into production work. Paddle shifters and double clutches. Carbon fiber.

    Marketing and tech progress make F1 important. But yeah, it’s a bore.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    C/D only seems to like cars with European handling, but we’re not in Europe. I drove the Cobalt quite a bit and found nothing wrong with the handling, as a matter of fact, I had to make an abrupt maneuver at 65 mpg to avoid some asshole and it behaved quite well, I felt like I was under control all the time, I can only imagine the Cruze would handle even better. ps tires make a world of difference.

  19. HtG Says:

    As many people watch any F1 race as watch the Superbowl. I am approximating. Here in the US it’s just whack jobs paying any attention. There’s a reason Renault stuck that Infinity sticker on the RedBulls. Just like there’s reason the product professionals at the autoshow are attractive, but not intimidating to potbellied middle aged guys with glasses.

  20. tj Martin Says:

    Ohhhh Booooob !

    Really ? so glad to hear that my posts are so utterly clueless .

    But ahhhhh…. Bob . the only CLUELESS one here is you buddy boy . Your abject lack of understanding of Petro Economics is only surpassed by your constant insistence on trying to confront me on any subject .

    What was Einstein’s definition of Insanity ?

    ” Trying the same thing over and over .. expecting a different result ”

    Guess that applies to you doesn’t it !

    OPEC has , does and can ADJUST the price of its Oil as well as its Output at any given time . Read your history BOooooB

    Oh yes , speculators , the commodities market , etc. etc. as well as on the very RARE occasion Supply & Demand has its effects on pricing .

    But oh boy wonder of the Ivory Tower Sect . Again OPEC has in the past , does in the present as well as WILL in the future play a role in the PRICING of Oil .

    As to the source of power for Electricity …. well BOooob , if you were half as smart as you wish you were , you’d know that the statistics given by the Feds etc is contentious AT BEST .

    But oh well …… you’re not even half as smart as you try to proclaim yourself .

    More as my Grand Father would have said ;

    An Intellectual Idiot .

    And a rude , low bred , mannerless one at that .

    Now go pick on someone your own size . Maybe H/S . Nahhh even he’d take you two out of three .

    PS; Might want to have a bit of work on your spelling , sentence structure , grammar etc. as well as that Logical Consistency and Fact based Knowledge you seem to be so lacking in .

  21. tj Martin Says:


    F1 : It’s all about the money these days . In reality though its become in the last five years irrelevant to any real world use in production cars . In fact many of the technologies now used in F1 ( traction control ABS etc. ) came out of production cars .

    FYI; Don’t know why but your prescription showed up at my door somehow . I’ll have John forward them as soon as he gets back in town :o )

  22. tj Martin Says:

    PPSS; Bob ;

    Believe me when I say ;


    Fact is since you and H/S disappeared into the Virtual Void things have for the most part ( with the exception of that Canada idiot ) been pretty peaceful as well as having a nice intellectual overall tone .

    Ahhh but All Good Things must come to Past .

    I suppose we should expect H/S charging in any moment as well .

  23. pedro fernandez Says:

    Bob reminds me of my ex-wife’s father, he’d come by once every 2 weeks to remind me of what a moron I was!

  24. bob Says:

    pedro fernandez Says:
    April 14th, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    C/D only seems to like cars with European handling, but we’re not in Europe.

    Speak for yoruself, pedro. I was in Europe more than half of last yearm, and will go again for three full months this June-Aug (same place and same summer ‘job’)

    C’D is not alone. All car mags appreciate Euro cars because they simply are the BEST IN THE WORLD, and don’t give me any lEXUS ES or RX35O please. Especially at the top of the totem pole, have no illusion that yopur cheap Infiniti is just as good as a 5, and E, or a 911. (not to mention the Mt Olympus of Autpmotive Excellence, the 7 and the S class!)

  25. bob Says:


    You don’t really expect, you ignoramus, that I will bother to read your replies?

    To quote my favorite Judge,

    God gave you ONE mouth and TWO ears for a reason. Listen and learn, fool!

  26. tj Martin Says:


    As far as the numbers watching F1 Worldwide , the last I read it was a very close # 2 to Soccer ( which is the most viewed sport worldwide ) and that many of the F1 events ( Monaco in particular ) exceeds ( by a substantial margin ) the viewing audience of the SuperBowl .

    But I read that about a year ago , so who knows ?

  27. tj Martin Says:

    @ Bob ;

    Pretty obvious you did , or you wouldn’t be making this feeble attempt at exerting your Non Existent superiority .

    To quote my favorite Judge ;

    ” It is a fool that thinks himself so wise as to be beyond reproach and it is He that is damned to eternal condemnation ”

    Ahhh but there I go quoting way out of your league again . Such a cruel SOB that I am .

    I’ll dig up a few ” Romper Room ” Quotes for any future responses so as not to continually go over your addled head .

  28. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Sneak peek of the new Malibu (kind of looks like a Cruze on ‘steroids’; I like it.

  29. tj Martin Says:

    Oh BOob !

    As to your ever present EuroSnobbery .

    Perhaps Bob you missed the the quote I put up from Alois Ruf ( do you even know who he is ? ) who stated ;

    ” I do not understand why Americans purchase ANY European Car , never mind my tuned ones as they ARE NOT suitable for the US roads in the least ”

    Context Bob . Kind of goes hand in hand with Logical Consistency , A firm grounding in Reality vs Information as well as the ability to discern Facts from Opinions .

    Damn !!!! But there I go again . Talking so far over your addled brain as to have left you in a mired puddle of confusion . Oh but thats your NORMAl state .. so I don’t feel so bad .

  30. bob Says:

    # HtG :

    I am aware of F1 used for research and all that, but I just can’t watch this (or NASCAR, or basketball, or…) without being bored to tears.

    Like porn, sports is far better to do it than watch it. Far healthier too.

    PS I agree with you that all Jettas, even the latest one, look fine from outside, it is in the interior that VW cheapened it to lower the price. I have no beef with that either, if they did a market survey and the qaverage American buyer prefers this, fine with me. VW should do really well vs Toyota and the Domestics and even Hyundai because it is much less affected by Japan’s problems.

  31. HtG Says:

    as to F1 relevance, I wonder how the new regime of four cylinder engines will play out. I think turbo charged fours are very relevant to the real world. But then, not to Ferrari’s world. Mario Andretti was quoted saying fours are boring. All I know is I like the sound of a V10.

    Here’s an article in NYT on Dallara’s role in both racing and road cars. It goes to the point of engineering talent working in both worlds.


  32. bob Says:

    PS a clarification, it is really obvious, but when i said the Euros make the best cars in the World, I of course meant the Germans, not the…Fronch (!) or the Eyetalians (except for exotics, Ferrari in particular) or especially the.. Brits!

  33. tj Martin Says:

    Phew !!!

    Enough Bobisms for now .

    Pardon me for the rants Gentlemen , but my BS Tolerance Factor is somewhat less than zero of late for reasons those of you that have been around the last few weeks know too well .

  34. pedro fernandez Says:

    I like the new Malibu a lot more than the current one, incidentally, last week I met the owner of a Porsche only repair shop. I asked him what he thought of Porsche placing ist in the JD Power reliability study, he just laughed and said, “my staff and I can’t figure out what they’re talking about, as soon as the warranty is over, they come here with all kinds of problems, both mechanical and electric, I had to hire an extra tech”. So much for superior German engineering.

  35. bob Says:


    If I ever need advice on Stereos, I’ll ask you, givign you the benefit of the doubt, assuming it’s your job and u know what you r talking about.

    But on Energy and Automotive, do you seriously think that, with all the blunders you commit (I wonde how red your face was when they corrected you), I would really reqad all you write? (and you are as prolific as Hyundai Smoke, and in some cases even more wrong than he is!)

    That “65% of US elecrtricity comes from … Oil” was a Guiness Book of Records (Sp?) Class blunder…

  36. HtG Says:

    bob@27. I did compare the interiors of the new Jetta against an EOS in the showroom. I couldn’t see much difference in the quality of materials even though the EOS was 30+K. The seats on the Jetta were a very grippy synthetic, which seemed functional; I perceived it as cheap. Inside room was great.

    As to the excitement(urp) of F1, it stinks. I fell asleep at last year’s Valencia race. And tj has a point about current tech being too far removed from real cars, even if work done years ago is going to the mall in San Jose today.

  37. bob Says:

    The new malibu? After Bob Lutz left the building, iduiots took over.

    Do you know that the fools, instead of Increasing the Wheelbase of the Malibu in the new version, DEcreased it, and not by a hair but by a full Four inches????

    As if all FWD cars did not have a huge appearance (aka ugliness) problem with their huge front overhangs.. and rear room problem due to the already short wheelbases.

    They could have shortened the Malibu, BUT with the same or larger Wheelbase, it would have looked MUCH much better, almost like a good old 5 series or other well-proportioned vehicle!

  38. tj Martin Says:

    German Cars ;

    Oh yes ! Such fantastic pieces of machinery of late . And what’s at the bottom of all the Reliability lists these days ?

    Why its the German brands ! Damn ! Go figure ! Gee wasn’t that what put me of buying the GLK I had my eye on ? Why yes it was . Isn’t that why I HATED my S4 Avant ? Why yes it was .

    Oh dear….. Bob . You just keep proving my point with each and every post . Think I’ll take the rest of the day off so as to let other folks have a go at posting .

    But do go on proving beyond any shadow of a doubt what an intellectually vapid moron you are . What’s that other saying I like so much ?

    ” Keep your mouth closed and people will wonder if you’re a fool . Open it and you’ll remove all DOUBT “

  39. bob Says:

    keep blubbering about the reliability. You bought a Fu King AUDI, MArtin, what did you expect????????

    I said it until I was blue in the face, I had my 7 series for SIX YEARS of SHEER AUTOMOTIVE VALHALLA (AKA HEAVEN) and it has proven Also outsTANDINGLY RELIABLE!!!!

    AND my previous car was NOT A FU KING AUDI, like that fool Martin’s, but a MONUMENTALLY RELIABLE ACCORD 5-speed coupe, AND I HAVE SAID MANY TIMES, the 7 has proven FAR MORE RELIABLE Than even the ACCORD!!!

    So go ahead, tell me I just got Mind-Bogglingly LUCKy. Yeah, right.

    Some fools just never learn…

  40. HtG Says:

    pedro@31, you know there’s a reason you can get an old Boxster for about 10K. Just type ‘Boxster engines suck’ into your browser. It seems the big problem is a bearing for a timing shaft goes bad, …..and BOOOOM! That will be a 20K crate engine you will need, and Porsche doesn’t acknowledge the issue. I wanted a Boxster. Once. Bad.

  41. bob Says:

    For Example: The EXHAUST system in the Accord had to be fixed every couple years. In the 7, same punishing driving conditions, it has NOT failed ONCE in the six years I had it!

  42. bob Says:

    And as i said, even if the 7 just DROPPED DEAD (or, much more likely, was hit by an 18 wheeler and totaled) today, it would still have been my best automotive investment of ALL TIME, fully worth the truly insignificant amount I paid to buy and use it.

    (and don’t forget, in 2009 it actually MADE ME MONEY! four reimbursed trips to Wash DC, at about $0.50 a mile, minus the less than 150-200 for gas in each trip, minus the oil change, the insurance and the registration for that year, left me with more than $1k in PURE PROFIT!!!!!!

  43. tj Martin Says:

    @ Bob ;

    Tell you what . When you’re in need of a genuine EDUCATION on the subject of Automobiles . Look me up . Assuming you can learn to play nice .

    I’ve forgotten more about Automobiles than you’ll ever know . Can drive your pretentious (____ ) into the ground on ANY course as well as having owned and driven more cars than your feeble imagination can conjure up .

    Stereos though BOB ? Oh I know them well , but I’m the one playing ON the Stereo , not with them .

    So what is it you ACTUALLY do other than play the Forum Bully when you get the chance .

    Having taught at several prestigious Colleges and Universities you’ll have a hard time convincing me you’re an Educator of any sort .

    Maybe a Blogging Head Graduate Teaching Asst. But your attitude , lack of education and/ or refinement as well as your complete inability to express yourself in complete sentences certainly is NOT the attributes I’d apply to anyone I’ve known in Higher Ed . Unless of course the Facility you teach at has such low standards as to accept someone of your obviously limited intellectual capabilities .

    Ahh… but Standards are dropping WorldWide so why would I be surprised ?

  44. HtG Says:

    bob, here’s something I have learned. You may discount it. Honda has a problem with the engines in Civics. It seems the block cracks and kills the motor. Very expensive for them to replace. Source-a service manager. I asked about it because I was servicing my car, and saw a car on the lift, with an engine below it and another in a body bag to the side.

  45. bob Says:

    I looked at used M5s lately, the 1997-2003 vintage, but even the later model, and you can buy them quite cheaply at cars.com, despite their awesome 400-500 HP engines. for $10-15k with modest mileage.

    However, their MPG’s are dismal, much lower than the MPG of my much bigger and much heavier 7. So bad, that even I, who need to drive only a few miles (commuting), would feel the pinch with today’s gas prices.

  46. pedro fernandez Says:

    I also kow a Honda tech a dealership he tells me the new ones are NOT as reliable as the older ones, the Civic has had issues with the 5 speed auto, among other problem, when you think about it it makes perfect sense, they outsource a lot of parts that used to done in-house same with Toyota that is the nature of this business, save $$ whenever you can

  47. pedro fernandez Says:

    My friend and his sons spend a few months and a few $$ bringing back alive an 89 325 and it was hard work, but he says he would do it all over again due to the enjoyment he gets out of driving the thing on weekends. His everyday car is, however, a Camry

  48. HtG Says:

    Here’s an article showing F1 champion Vettel promoting Infiniti to China. Not exactly James Hunt. Scroll down


  49. M Campbell Says:

    There is something amiss about the $12k-$100k+/spot cost of outfitting a parking structure with chargers. On a per space basis that’s more than the construction cost of many of these buildings. Are they powered by solar panels or some other high-cost source of energy? More information (for us non-Wards customers) on that UC-Boulder study would be welcomed.

  50. dcars Says:

    Bob is back and the excitement continues. We use methane to grow tomato’s and soon to generate electricity. The new plant will be located near a Hydro electric plant! In addition, I’m having solar panels (45KW) installed on one of our buildings. Were also looking into getting a wind mill to generate electricity and possibly getting natural gas vehicles.

  51. Rick Wakefield Says:

    Boring and BAAAAD delivery by Christie.

    Sooory, just don’t like her representing the show. Y’all can do better and do.
    Rick W.

  52. cwolf Says:

    Thanks Grenci for providing the peek at the malibu-I like it! Looks like a couple added car flavors thrown in.Front fenders have a mazda6 look and the hood rise kinda looks a little ford 500 like. bob’s complaint of its wheelbase must be a result of a self inflicted brain fart, because I think it was made known to us for many months that the malibu would be downsized to make a place for the new impala.

    dcars,I think what your doing to your place is fantastic and interesting.would like to hear of savings down the road.Did you ever give any thought to thermal energy?

  53. XA351GT Says:

    After her(Christie) rant on the last time she hosted and the agitation she caused she probably felt a low key approach would be better.

  54. Kit Gerhart Says:

    In some ways, F1 cars are lower tech than today’s road cars. F1 cars don’t have ABS; it way banned a few years ago to greater emphasize driver skill.

  55. ckernzie Says:

    Yes Paul Knight you are correct the plug-ins are I speak of are for block heaters but the LEAF, VOLT, and MiEV have 110V charging capability. Much slower of course but they exist and would make owning an EV easier.

  56. Joe Black Says:

    A 1000hp Cadillac Escalade!? As if that car wasn’t gas thirsty-enough already, here comes a tuning company, who instead of shedding weight and making the vehicle lighter, have made it worse by giving that school bus 1000 horse power. Soon, we’ll be seeing videos posted of that truck crashing as soon as it takes a turn because of it being a 1 million ton GM truck. The GTR, on the other hand, can not only accelerate, but it can also turn in corners and handle on a racetrack. There’s just no comparison between the two.

  57. Wayne Says:

    Boy, the posts are sure dripping of arrogance today! Maybe we can get the kids to shut the hell up and people with honest and intelligent information about the auto industry can get a word in edgewise????

  58. Andrew Charles Says:

    The Crafter isn’t “new” — VW has been building a version of the Sprinter for a couple of model generations now, and this version is just an enhancement and facelift of the current Crafter, which debuted at the same time as the Sprinter, way back in 2005.